« السابقةمتابعة »
His wealth brave Timon gloriously confounds;
Takes the whole house upon the poet's day.
Not for yourself, but for your fools and knaves;
If wealth alone then make and keep us blest,
But if to power and place your passion lie, If in the pomp of life consists the joy, Then hire a slave, or (if you will) a lord, To do the honours, and to give the word; Tell at your levee, as the crowds approach, To whom to nod, whom take into your coach, Whom honour with your hand; to make remarks, Who rules in Cornwall, or who rules in Berks: "This may be troublesome, is near the chair; That makes three members, this can chuse a may'r." Instructed thus, you bow, embrace, protest, Adopt him son, or cousin at the least, Then turn about, and laugh at your own jest. Or if your life be one continued treat, If to live well means nothing but to eat; Up, up! cries Gluttony, 'tis break of day, Go drive the deer, and drag the finny prey; With hounds and horns go hunt an appetiteSo Russel did, but could not eat at night; Call'd happy dog the beggar at his door, And envied thirst and hunger to the poor. Or shall we every decency confound,
Through taverns, stews, and bagnios take our round?
From Latian Syrens, French Circaan feasts,
Return'd well travell'd, and transform'd to beasts;
Or for a titled punk or foreign flame
Renounce our country, and degrade our name? 125
BOOK I. EPISTLE VII.
IN THE MANNER OF DR. SWIFT.
'Tis true, my lord, I gave my word
The dog-days are no more the case.'
'Tis true, but winter comes apace:
My lord, your favours well I know;
* Earl of Rochester.
Pray take them sir-enough's a feast:
And 'tis but just, I'll tell you wherefore,
Now this I'll say, you'll find in mc
To give me back my constitution,
That laugh'd down many a summer sun,
And all that voluntary vein,
As when Belinda rais'd
A weasel once made shift to slink
Sir, you may spare your application,
All that may make me none of mine.
South-sea subscriptions take who please,
BOOK II. EPISTLE I.
The reflections of Horace, and the judgments passed in his epistle to Augustus, seemed so seasonable to the present times, that I could not help applying them to the use of my own country. The author thought them considerable enough to address them to his prince, whom he paints with all the great and good qua lities of a monarch upon whom the Romans depended for the increase of an absolute empire: but to make the poem entirely English, I was willing to add one or two of those which contribute to the happiness of a free people, and are more consistent with the welfare of our neighbours.
This epistle will shew the learned world to have fallen into two mistakes: one, that Augustus was a patron of poets in general; whereas he not only prohibited all but the best writers to name him, but recommended that care even to the civil magistrate; Admonebat prætores, ne paterentur nomen suum obsolefieri, &c. the other, that this piece was only a general discourse of poetry; whereas it was an apology for the poets, in order to render Augustus more their patron. Horace here pleads the cause of his contemporaries; first, against the taste of the town, whose humour it was to magnify the authors of the preceding age; secondly, against the court and nobility, who encouraged only the
writers for the theatre; and lastly, against the emperor himself, who had conceived them of little use to the government. He shews (by a view of the progress of learning, and the change of taste among the Romans) that the introduction of the polite arts of Greece had given the writers of his time great advantages over their predecessors; that their morals were much improved, and the licence of those ancient poets restrained; that satire and comedy were become more just and useful; that whatever extravagances were left on the stage were owing to the ill taste of the nobility; that poets, under due regulations, were in many respects useful to the state; and concludes, that it was upon them the emperor himself must depend for his fame with posterity. We may further learn from this epistle, that Horace made his court to this great prince, by writing with a decent freedom toward him, with a just contempt of his low flatterers, and with a manly regard to his own character. P.
WHILE you, great patron of mankind! sustain
Edward and Henry, now the boast of fame,
To thee the world its present homage pays,